Obama Campaign Observer Manual For Ohio Leaked To Velvet Revolution
Manual Has Detailed Contingency Plans For Obama Campaign Election Observers
Includes Information On How To Secure Voting Machines And Ballots
Velvet Revolution has acquired a leaked a copy of the official Obama Campaign Election Observer Manual for the State of Ohio.
The manual is 53 pages long. The information contained therein is quite detailed, and is an indication that the campaign has a reasonably good understanding of the threats to election security posed by electronic voting machines, the vital importance of security procedures for the machines and the chain-of-custody for paper ballots, why provisional ballots should be given to a voter only as an absolute last resort, and the importance of post-election procedures for the voting machines and the ballots, both used and unused.
We'd like to post the entire pdf for your perusal, but our source has asked us to only post excerpts, not the entire document.
The manual has practical tips like "dress comfortably in business casual attire," "wear comfortable shoes," "bring your cell phone and charger," and "bring treats for the pollworkers like donuts."
But more importantly, there is vital information about election security.
For various problems that develop, the manual recommends one of four "actions" to be taken. Those actions are:
- Default Action: Resolve Problem Yourself If Possible!
- Action 1: Log and Call: Log the event in the "Observer's Log," [supplied in the manual] call the Supervisor/Boiler Room, and if you cannot call them, call 1-877-OBAMA-OH (1-877-622-6264).
- Action 2: Declaration and Call. Prepare an Incident Report/Declaration, call the Supervisor/Boiler Room, and if you cannot call them, call 1-877-OBAMA-OH (1-877-622-6264).
- Action 3: Log Only. Note the incident in the Observer Log.
Here are some of the guidelines regarding security procedures:
- Arrive by 6:00 a.m. so you can witness opening procedures and observe that security seals are present on all voting equipment and supply bags.
- Observe that Poll workers record the numbers of all security seals on the proper BOE from when seals are broken for setup.
- Note any unsealed voting equipment or supply bags. Action 3, Log Only.
- Report is memory card bag or voting machines are unsealed. Action 1, Log & Call.
- ... Keep an eye on supplies during the day and take action of they seem to be running low. Action 1, Log & Call.
- In DRE counties, confirm that there are back up paper ballots. If there appear to be too few paper ballots available, take Action 1, Log & Call.
- Observe "Zero Report" printing. This is the report that proves there are no votes already on the machine. Insure that the report is run for each machine, signed by the poll workers, and secured in the manner described in your county's Pollworker manual. If a "Zero Report" isn't run, or shows something other than zero, take Action 1, Log & Call.
The following items are under the heading "Security During Election Day":
- For both Touchscreen DREs and Precinct Based Optical Scan machines, votes are recorded on Memory Cards placed inside the machines.
- a) Log the number of Voting Machines and number of Memory Cards.
- b) if possible, log each Memory Card's serial number in association with the relevant Voting Machine's serial number.
- There should be no connection of any kind to any voting equipment other than the electric power supply cord.
- Nothing (no CD, flash drive, wireless component, etc) should be inserted, removed or come in contact with any part of the voting equipment, other than insertion of the memory card at the beginning of the day and removal at the end of the election.
- If any part of the voting equipment, access panels, memory card, ballot compartment, emergency ballot compartment is unlocked and/or unsealed for any reason, it should be done in public view with a clear statement of the reason by two pollworkers of different parties.
- Any voting equipment, access panel, memory card, ballot compartment, emergency ballot compartment that is opened should be relocked and resealed and the numbers of these security seals recorded on the BOE form.
- Any opening or manipulation of a voting machine component should be documented by pollworkers in the incident report log.
- Note and report any voting equipment that is unsealed, that is taken out of public view or without two pollworkers of different parties being present.
Regarding provisional ballots, the campaign gives the following information:
Wherever possible, a voter should cast a regular ballot, not a provisional ballot. In some Democratic areas, more than 30% of provisional ballots are invalidated. Provisional ballots should be used only in certain limited circumstances.
And lastly, under the heading "At Closing" there is a lot of information related to election and ballot security:
- Log poll closing time.
- If poll is closed before 7:30 p.m. take Action 1: Log & Call.
- Observe the Pollworkers' Recording of Precinct Data. Observe that Pollworkers
- a. Record the total number of regular paper ballots voted;
- b. Record the total number of paper provisional ballots cast by voters who arrived between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.,
- c. In case of a court order only, record the total number of provisional paper ballots cast by voters who arrived after 7:30 p.m.;
- d. Record the total number of soiled or defaced paper ballots;
- e. Record the total number of unvoted paper ballots;
- f. Record the total number of signatures in the Signature Poll Book; and
- g. Record all ballot statistics (e.g. regular, provisional, soiled and defaced, unvoted) on the balance/reconciliation sheet provided by the Board of Elections (BOE).
- Observe Printing of at least one copy of the Long Report or Voting Results Report. This is the paper record of total number of ballots cast, not the specific results of any election contest. Be sure it is secured as described in the Pollworker Manual.
- a. Record the ballots cast totals from the Long Report or Voting Results Report in the Observer Log
- Observe Printing of Precinct Election Results At Polling Locations.
We're glad when any candidate tries to make sure that an election is clean and the results are true, and we commend the Obama campaign on their upcoming election day efforts. But we urge all candidates and elected officials to be more proactive and join us in our non-partisan election integrity work before November, 2010. Making our elections clean and verifiable takes a year-round effort, and having plans in place for Election Day itself is just not enough.